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The Wines

from Clos of same name at Chavanay, 1990 Syrah, 2-week whole bunch fermentation, submerged cap, aged large 12 hl barrels 8-12 months

2016 ()

quite a full red robe. Has a softening, red jam aroma, raspberry with a glisten in it, towards redcurrant jelly in style; there’s a note of meat stock. The palate is lithe, natural, bears chewy red fruit content, has quite thick tannin, not the iron of the Côte-Rôtie. Unforced wine here. It will be good with lamb. It’s a touch dry late on from the stems; there’s a wee fungal element in it. Decanting advised. 2025-26 Mar 2018

2015 ()

(casks) deep set robe. The bouquet carries reduction so decant this; it is inky, bear a mound of blackberry fruit that is stewing before becoming jam. It is obviously ripe. The palate casts a run of blueberry fruit with licorice and a fresh stream of clarity towards the finish. It has the northern sector St Jo cut, fibre, pepperiness, near vegetal connection. It’s a grounded wine for red meats, pretty full on in style. From spring 2018 – the tarry, punchy finish needs to integrate. 2026-27 Oct 2016

2012 ()

dark red. Minor air of reduction, game on the bouquet, which comes with an oily blackberry, mulberry note and a little salty clarity: the nose is round in shape. The palate starts on attractive, savoury, down home fruit, flows nicely, consistently. The length is good; this is traditional style Saint-Joseph, and is very drinkable, enhanced by the lift of 2012. It has light, authentic iron-floral late moments. From mid-2014. 2019-20  Nov 2013

2011

shiny dark red robe, black tints. Blackberry, licorice, earthy airs, notes reduction and game. There is a black fruited intensity on the palate, a touch of leather and game also here, leading to prune and light violet on the finish. It tightens steadily, isn’t showing fully now. The length is OK, with a light flash of red fruit on the aftertaste. The fruit drifts overall on the late stages, though. Wait until spring 2014. Decant it. It could make progress after a while. Bottled Sept 2012. “It has been freeing itself after a very child of terrain, massive start. We use very, very few weedkillers these days in this vineyard, and there was a lack of nitrogen during fermentation, so the wine was more rustic,” Julien Barge. 2020-21 May 2013

2010 ()

½ bottle: sturdy, dark robe. The bouquet is oily, black-fruited, has a smatter of licorice, is nicely generous and broad = there is a real live offer of fruit here: potential to realise, and variety to come. There is a winning combination of black fruit, berries and tannins that are ripe, fit like a glove and add weight to the wine. This is classy northern zone Saint-Joseph red; there are traces of violet, and much elegance within its definite, deep mass on the palate. 12.5°. 2024-26  May 2013  Previously May 2012 **** dark robe. Instant surge of blackberry fruit on the nose – it is really deep and running, shows leather, licorice and touches of mineral to season it. The palate holds rockabilly black fruit, is expressive and expansive, has lively, fresh lines, lots of breeze and clarity. There is some earthiness on the palate, with substance behind all the running fruit. Great, now is a w.o.w. wine as well. There are notes of licorice, and bright grain tannins on the finish. “It has settled since its October 2011 bottling,” G Barge. 2020-21 May 2012 Previously Nov 2011 **** quite dark, mottled robe; has a peppery, rambling aroma, rather fat red raspberry fruit, local feel with violet notes. The red fruit is more usually associated with a terroir such as St Jean de Muzols to the south – shows the soft spice of that sector, with a snap of tannin in behind, a crisp final seal. STGT style wine, completely without pretension. It is nicely continuous along the palate. Is very precise in its way, is very true, not for modernists. Close to ready. A little tannin steals up at the end, leaves a ball of darkness. 12.5°. 2017-18. Nov 2011

2009 ()

(12 hl barrel) full, bright and dark robe; black cherry aroma with a creamy side to it, plus mineral and light spice. Good, vibrant fruit on the palate – has a firm couch of tannin with life in it overall. Good length. This will be well fruited. w.o.w. style wine. 2016-17 July 2010

2008

level red robe. Prune, overt pepper in the bouquet that has a lot of snap about it. Gentle, but rather live fruit on the palate, supported by a honey flavouring, minor sweet notes. It ends tightly now. Still young – drink now with food. A little floral element in this. To 2014. July 2010

2007 ()

½ bottle: still full robe. A great stream of aroma comes from the glass – tea, dark chocolate, and still live, primary black fruit - a good mix with a little earthiness. A great bouquet! This offers fine fruit, not robust, is loose in its flow. It starts on grainy black fruit, while the tannins that emerge on the finish are also grainy, with the sign-off based on a note of black fruit jam. The finish extends pretty well; this is going along enjoyably. 12.5°. 2018-19  May 2013  Previously Dec 2008 *** pretty, bright red; mulberry, raspberry mixture on the bouquet – the aroma is juicy and open. The palate gives direct black fruit, backed by a punch of dark tannin, tar, pepper – it stamps its mark on the finish. Hearty, northern sector Saint-Joseph, with its green pepper, on the go, instincts. From mid-late 2009 – the tannins need to settle. It is a mix of springy fruit and noticeable tannins, an unfurnished product for now. 2016-17 Bottled mid-September 2008. Dec 2008

2006 ()

(2 barrels) barrel 1 *** soft nose, with floating red fruit. Genuine fruit, a glugging wine with a bit of tannin, easy come, easy go. A little withdrawn at the finish – shows there is a little tannin. barrel 2 ***(*) black fruits, quite deep aroma; good spine and clarity, tight and tarry, a 7-9 year wine. OVERALL ***(*) a 10-year wine, with its fruit well-established, and a sprinkle of late tannins. Will sing around 2009-10. June 2007

2005

brisk, live and pronounced red fruits on the bouquet. The palate holds berry fruit with tannic siding, hedge fruits with some tar. There is a little lapse before the finish. Is at a pause stage of its life. Bottled eight months ago – no excuses there. Sound length. Esp 2009 on. “It has normally been more generous and easy,” Julien Barge. A South Wind today does not help it, either. June 2007

2004 ()

½ bottle: the top rim of the robe is light, showing evolution, its heart sound. This is becoming mineral on the nose – it is more on that than fruit, has a prune depth at its heart, tobacco. The palate is a Child, on the sinew, of its vintage. It continues steadily with a game, rather fungal, violette mushrooms, tendency. It ends on a lightly scented, cooked plum note. There is still attractive juice in this, and it is well together. It has evolved faithfully in step with its vintage style from its early days. To 2018.  May 2013  Previously April 2006 *** reduction overruns the nose, once aired frees up more and leather, damson aromas emerge. DECANT THIS! Clear, black fruits with a sound mid-palate. Peppery, mineral, crisp finish, is a direct wine. Esp 2007 on. 2011-12. April 2006

2001 ()

red robe with a little lightening occurring; red fruit peeks out on the nose – has a white pepper, delicate frame around it. After 20 minutes, the bouquet moves to black fruits and olive touches, with game also. The palate gives red fruits with a fresh nature, and a peppery taste. It runs directly, is indeed peppery through it, with a gain in width as it airs and warms a little. Has a true 2001 character. To 2014. Dec 2008 Previously *** quite firm, spiced black fruit/tar, reduced aroma; good body, live wine, has stuffing, plus chewy end. 2011-12

2000

warm, sappy black fruit nose, earthy kick; tasty, full black flavour. Jam texture, some cut, a little short. 2008-10

1999 ()

dark aromas, fair amount; plump, full wine, tannins tighten at end. From 2003. To 2009-11

1998 ()

broad, game influenced aroma with good, true Syrah red fruit in it, along with mocha. The red fruit resembles more the more southern zone around Arras than Chavanay. Marked red fruit, very Syrah, on the palate – it comes with a fungal side, the length is sound. Dries a bit towards the finish, but still fresh. Pretty wine. Great with dishes such as veal in sauce, maybe mushroom sauce, pork casseroles with herbs, Moroccan lamb. To 2012 or just 2013. “The grape bunches were loose in 1998 – they tasted tough, not generous, but after 3 years the wine became very aromatic,” Gilles Barge. Dec 2008 Previously *** red berry/light spice/game nose; very pure black fruit Syrah; mineral, northern St Jo wine. Tasty. Peppery tannins. 2009-10

1997 ()

brambly fruit/pepper bouquet. Open fruit, liquorish on the finish. Good length. Best 2000-01, can live until 2004-05.

1996

evolving red robe, toning down. Prune, damson, tobacco and smoke airs in with plum jam, cedar and violet. The palate has an aromatic imprint, drinks with assured fragrance, extends really well. A triumph: this is feather in the air wine, and would be lovely with a roast partridge, for instance. Grand, impressive for its age. It lengthens with an all-in-tune harmony, is fresh, shows no decline. The acidity of 1996 has been a great servant. 2019-20  May 2013  Previously **(*) fresh, fair weight nose game/stewed fruit; fresh attack, black fruit, liquorice end. Tails away a bit. To 2005-06

1995

red fruits, with damp tones from the air on bouquet. Blackberry fruits, with leathery side. Was open when young, but tannins getting on top, dries on the finish as it receives air. March 2003